Twitter thread by Gail Simone, [HERE]
- Okay, for various deliberate reasons, I have not read nearly as many comics in 2017 as I normally do. And this week, I started reading a ton of comics. And I have stuff to say.
- Now, if you are an aspiring comics creator, I hope you will listen. Ignore this advice if you like, but at least consider it first.
- First, for the love of god, remember that the reader does not know what is inside your head. That is your only job, to convey your message.
- Pro or newbie, shame on you if you don’t name your characters on panel if we are supposed to recognise them later.
- Over and over, I am reading comics where (t)he main character is not named or even introduced. The story just starts and we are meant to guess.
- This is just aggressively bad storytelling, unless there is some specific reason. If you are writing the Man With No Name, fine. But that’s mostly not the case.
- Second, learn what an establishing shot is, and what it accomplishes. Over and over, I was not told where the characters are.
- An establishing shot establishes not just location, but tone. One lonesome farm in the snowy emptiness can convey pages of dialogue and exposition. Better, too.
- Third, when did we forget that it’s important to know what a character wants? I don’t need a character’s D&D stats, I need to know what they NEED. What drives them.
- Over and over, I am seeing stories where a threat arises, attacks the hero, the hero fights back, bang, continued next issue.
- If I read your story and don’t know what the character’s motive is, that’s on the writer.
- Additionally, learn what a reveal is. In almost any story worth a damn, someone’s keeping a secret, regardless of genre. Secrets are storytelling nitro.
- Finally, I am still reading comics where the characters all have similar speech pattern, a sort of affected one-liner-spouting verbal malaise.
- It’s bad enough if TWO characters are indistinguishable in their speech, it’s bad. If all of them are, start over, you have hit a tree in the road.
- That’s it, just some things to consider. A lot of potentially very interesting comics out there are missing a little lesson in the basics.
- Just think it over, I guarantee you you will be happier with the result.
(thread is about comics, but the points apply to all forms of writing)